People invited to register for a vaccination are being asked to delay calling 111 until Saturday 6 March.
The 111 service is experiencing an unprecedented volume of incoming calls at present, and as a result some cannot be answered. To avoid people waiting on the line or making repeated calls, those who are contacting 111 to register for their vaccination are being asked to wait until Saturday when the team will be able to take their call.
A recorded message giving this information has been put in place this afternoon.
The advice is for vaccination calls only – anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 should continue to report them to 111.
Minister David Ashford said: ‘There has been nothing short of a huge surge in calls to 111 since the circuit breaker lockdown was announced earlier this week. The 111 team must focus on receiving clinical calls from those reporting symptoms, and booking vaccination appointments for those already registered.
He added: ‘We need to be able to call those people already registered for a vaccination before taking new registrations. We are supplementing resources at 111 and the team will be in a position to take new registrations from Saturday. This will not affect the timing of any vaccinations. This is an incredibly busy time – please bear with us while we bring in some necessary changes so that we can continue to offer a high quality service to the public.’
Letters are being sent this week to the latest priority groups for vaccination, and this process will continue. People receiving letters are asked to simply hold on for a day or so before calling 111 to register – the pause will not affect their ability to receive a vaccine.